WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Tunisia’s total cereal production for market year 2016-17 is estimated around 1.5 million tonnes with wheat production estimated at 1.1 million tonnes and barley production estimated at 400,000 tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service said in a March 30 report. This represents a 15% increase compared to the previous year while plantings acreage remained roughly the same for both crops. Despite the drought registered from November to February, late rains in March greatly improved crop conditions.

Tunisia’s wheat and barley seeded areas for market year 2016-17 are estimated at about 647,000 hectares for wheat and 533,000 hectares for barley, maintaining approximately the same acreage as the previous year.

Tunisia’s average rate of wheat per capita consumption the last 15 years was 265 kilograms per year with a minimum of 247 kilogram per year in 2001 and a maximum of 325 kilograms per year in 2007, which places Tunisia among one of the largest wheat per capita consumers in the world. Total wheat consumption is around 2.8 million tonnes per year. Wheat consumption is expected to remain at the same level for the next few years. The report estimates Tunisia’s barley consumption at about 1.05 million tonnes per year and Tunisia’s corn consumption at about 1.1 million tonnes.

Tunisia’s wheat imports in market year 2015-16 are estimated to reach 2 million tonnes, a 36% increase compared to market year 2014-15. The majority of Tunisia’s wheat imports come from Ukraine, Italy, France, and Romania. Barley imports will reach 500,000 tonnes in market year 2015-16, a 13% increase compared to market year 2014-15 with Russia, Romania and U.K. dominating the market. Tunisia’s total corn imports in market year 2015-16 will be around 1.1 million tonnes, a 5 % increase compared to market year 2014-15. The majority of Tunisia’s corn imports are shipped from Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina.

Tunisia continues to implement its strategy to boost cereal production. In market year 2015-16, it revised farm-gate prices for wheat and barley according to international prices and local conditions. Through its cereals office, the government continues to control wheat imports by issuing tenders to international traders with import criteria based mostly on price considerations.